All about shoveling

Keeping our sidewalks free of ice and snow is the neighborly thing to do, and it’s the law. For your own benefit and to help your neighbors, people pushing strollers or using wheelchairs, and the many people in Minneapolis who walk, please do your part.

Minneapolis Ordinance requires that property owners clear sidewalks after the end of a snowfall within:

  • 24 hours for single family homes and duplexes
  • Four daytime hours for apartments, commercial buildings and all other properties (daytime hours begin at 8 am)

When you shovel snow and clear ice:

  • Shovel the sidewalks on all sides of your property, the full width of the sidewalk down to the bare pavement.
  • Remove all ice from sidewalks.
  • Pile snow into your yard and boulevard. It’s against the law to shovel snow into streets and alleys.
  • If you have a corner property, clear pedestrian ramps at the street corners and crosswalks to the street gutter.  You are not required to clear snow ridges or piles left by the plows beyond the gutter.  City crews will make an effort to return to do this work as quickly as possible, but with some 16,000 corners to clear across the City, it may take a while.  However, your neighbors would appreciate it if you could clear the pile, or at least an opening sooner to help shorten the wait and provide a clear passage.

Avoid the cost of having the City clear your sidewalk

  • If the City of Minneapolis gets a complaint or discovers that a sidewalk is not properly cleared, Public Works will inspect the sidewalk and give the property owners a chance to clear it.
  • If the sidewalk has not been cleared upon re-inspection, the property owner may be issued a citation with a fine, and crews will remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk. Property owners will be billed for this service, and unpaid bills will be added to property tax statements.


  • You are responsible for clearing ice on your sidewalk as well as snow. Ice can be more dangerous and intimidating than snow.
  • The sooner and more completely you shovel, the less likely it is that the snow will become compacted ice which is much more difficult to remove.
  • Arrange for someone to shovel anytime you are away.
  • Shovel around your garbage carts and recycling bins. If you don’t, the City will do it for you and charge a fee. For information, see Solid Waste & Recycling.

Need help?

Want to go the extra mile?

  • Report snow and ice on sidewalks.
  • Are there neighbors on your street who are elderly, have a disability or may have a hard time shoveling for any reason? Work with your neighbors to give a hand and ensure your entire block is safe and accessible to all.
  • Download this snow shoveling flyer (pdf) to tell others about the rules and importance of sidewalk snow clearance.